One glance at her Facebook newsfeed is enough to make the most determined woman feel discontent. An old friend shares her vacation photos, a colleague gushes about the diamonds her husband bought her, a relative shows off her renovated kitchen, an acquaintance shares news of her promotion at work, another friend shares her fabulously done Christmas decorations . . . We sit there scrolling through these tweets, pins, and status updates, and can’t help but wish we had some of that.
So, what’s a girl to do? Here are few things to think about as we learn to be content with what we have.
Contentment is a gift from God
Contentment is not a fruit of the Spirit but something we enjoy when we are walking in the Spirit. - Elizabeth George, paraphrased
When we try to battle discontentment on our own, we may not succeed. But when we depend on His power, He equips us to overcome our negative thoughts. Drinking of His living water and saturating ourselves with Him is the ultimate way to feel content in your present situation. When we are constantly in God’s presence and we focus on Him, we are given the gift of contentment.
Comparison leads to discontentment
We women tend to compare ourselves with each other. It’s been happening ever since our great-grandmother peeked at the neighbor’s yard and wished her flower bed looked as pretty. On more than one occasion, I’ve compared myself to other women online. I have tried to overcome my tendency to compare, but I still do it at times. I see an established blogger, a successful business, a more intentional mother, and I lament my inadequacies.
We become insecure when we are not satisfied with how God has created us, and with what He has given us. The truth is that Christ has set us free from all bondage and that includes the comparison game. Because of the freedom we have in Him, we are no longer chained to our basic instinct to compare and feel discontent.
Consider those who don’t have what you have
Instead of looking at people who have more than what we have, we need to look at those who don’t have what we have. When I see a friend who’s struggling with long-term health issues, I am no longer unhappy over my temporary illness. When I try to comfort someone who’s just lost her child, I am more thankful for the stubborn son I get to cuddle at night. This simple exercise has helped me be more thankful for what I do have, and I hope it will be helpful for you, too.
Contentment leads to joy and peace
But godliness with contentment is great gain. - 1 Timothy 6:6
In the verse above, Paul shares with Timothy the importance of being content with what we have. It’s true that when we choose to be content, we count our blessings and gratitude to God overflows from within. We cannot help but experience the joy and peace that come from knowing that God has provided for our needs and will continue to do so.
Being content in abundance and scarcity
We need to learn to be content with what we have – be it little or much. Can we be happy with the family we have, our health, our blessings, and choose to be grateful for it?
It really doesn’t matter whether we live in scarcity or abundance - our contentment is not dependent on our current situation. Our contentment should come from God alone. Our assurance comes from Him alone. We have a hope that extends beyond life on earth, until eternity.
For those of you who are struggling in life right now, remember that you have hope in Christ. Your situation is not the end; it is just the lull before you enter into an abundant life with Christ, spending time with Him till eternity.